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Ethanol not as green as it's promised to be

Date published: 4/23/2014

This month the McAuliffe administration announced it would give 250,000 of Virginians' hard-earned dollars to Vireol Bio Energy LLC, a producer of ethanol.

This $250,000 grant is supposed to create 70 jobs, reduce our dependence on oil and hasten the transition to less-environmentally costly fuels.

I know that Democrats care about the environment, but ethanol has been proven to be anything but green.

Aside from increasing demand for grains and raising food prices, growing crops for fuel increases strains on our environment.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report back in March highlighting the problems involved with production of biofuels. It doesn't significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and may in fact be a net emitter due to the conversion of forest land to cropland to supply the crops for fuel.

It is no wonder that groups such as the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Oxfam and the Environmental Working Group all oppose development of biofuels.

This is a perfect example of good intentions gone wrong, and has turned into a way to enrich a few farmers at the expense of the rest of us.

The McAuliffe administration should follow the example set by Congress in 2011, which ended $6 billion worth of subsidies for the ethanol industry and leaves the market to decide the best transition.

Jack Anderson